This mystery may appeal to fans of J.A.Jance, with its Arizona setting and spunky female detective. Detective Lena is determined to pay back the monster who abused her, as well as his enabling wife, when she was a nine year old in their foster care.She stalks and harasses them, but they are each murdered by someone else. With no regrets about their demise, Lena is determined to find out who the murderer is so that an innocent person won't be convicted. As one of a long series, this book has a great deal of back story about Lena's past, and since I haven't read others I don't know if her demons intrude on the other mysteries, but there was certainly plenty of unfinished personal business to be dealt with in later installments. This presents a powerful picture of the aftereffects of child sex abuse, but I found some of the characters to be rather flat, almost caricatures.
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When the man who raped Scottsdale PI Lena Jones when she was a nine-year-old foster child is released from prison, Lena is waiting for him in the parking lot - with a big knife. "Papa" Brian Wycoff survives their meeting, but the next day, his wife, who knew about his crimes but did nothing to stop him - in fact enabled him - is found dead in their Apache Junction home, shot through both eyes. Terrified he will be next, Wycoff, violating his parole, flees north to the small town of Black Canyon City, taking shelter in an RV on his brother-in-law's small ranch. A couple of days later, he is found tortured to death, eight horizontal marks burned into his flesh. One for each of his victims?
Suspicion first falls upon Lena, who has trailed Wycoff to Black Canyon City to make sure he doesn't come near any other children. When the local authorities arrive to question her, she admits to having been tempted to kill her former foster father, but someone beat her to the punch. Suspicion then falls on Wycoff's other victims, the now-grown men and women he abused when they were still in his care, and on the mothers of the children who went missing before his arrest.
When Lena takes up the case, more to protect one of the mothers who has been arrested than to find the real killer, her conscience is torn. Does a serial child rapist, a pedophile also implicated in the disappearance of several children, really deserve justice? That choice might not be left up to Lena when members of a local group, Parents of Missing Children, start working to prevent her investigation from succeeding. How far will they go to make sure she fails?Lena Jones: Desert Vengeance (Paperback)
Poisoned Pen Press, Inc.
|Number of Pages|
|Assembled Product Dimensions (L x W x H)|
5.50 x 0.64 x 8.50 Inches
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